QUIT Being a Prisoner to Your Agency!

By Jason Swenk on May 18, 2016

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to build your agency around your life, instead of being a prisoner to it.
  • 3 ways to build your agency around your personality.
  • How to brand your agency and be the leader in your category.

Today’s podcast guest is Re Perez, founder of Branding For The People, a branding agency for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Re has worked for some pretty huge agencies working on some major Fortune 500 clients. He talks to us about leaving all that behind in order to build an agency around his personality and lifestyle.

Re had a pretty interesting journey that led him to starting his agency.  His highly successful career took him from New York to Dubai and back to New York. Yet despite a successful career he wasn’t fulfilled with the work he was doing. He says that feeling coupled with a negative personal experience left him deeply questioning his next steps in life.

He took 6 months off to travel, meditate, practice yoga and figure out what was next… In his travels, he learned about a yoga studio called “Yoga For The People” and later a restaurant, “Food For The People”. Coincidence or fate?? 🙂 Re took these signs, coupled with his gut instinct to become an entrepreneur, and started his agency Branding For The People – an agency that brings Fortune 500 branding solutions to small businesses.

Branding Your Agency

Re says logos and slogans do not make a brand. Those things support a brand but are only marketing tools for identifying a brand.

Branding is a desired perception. In order to create a desired perception you must first have a desirable perception of yourself.

As a small business, if you want to be perceived as the leader in your category you have to behave like the leader in your category by:

  • Practice what you preach. Agency owners are famous for giving great advice to clients and NOT following it themselves. Start taking your own best advice!
  • Be genuine. People can smell BS a mile away and they will call you out on it. Be who you are and be willing to let go of clients who aren’t OK with the real you.
  • Don’t “act” like the big agencies by copying their behavior. Find your own unique position, while still behaving like a big agency.
  • Don’t force a square peg in a round hole. Always align yourself with the projects and brands that excite you. Allow agency’s brand to be determined by your own core values.

How To Build Your Agency Around Your Lifestyle

Re has one key motivator which determined how he would structure his business while staying true to himself:  He didn’t want a traditional office job. Meaning, he didn’t want to work for anyone else or spend a bunch of time in board rooms. He wants to travel and connect with people outside of the office walls. He is very clear on his goals and values. Are you?

3 Ways to Build Your Agency Around Your Personality

  1. Change the terminology. Re doesn’t refer to them as “clients” or “projects”, they are “relationships” or “engagements”. He’s a people person and treats each opportunity with care. A change in terminology also changes the perceived value of the experience. Check out my previous post about how changing terminology can even help you increase your prices! {BONUS!}
  2. Be self aware. Know how you are (and who you aren’t). You can’t get real clarity on leading your business until you know who you are… Ask yourself: “Is this agency fulfilling?” or “Does the work I’m doing really matter to me?” and “Does my agency support my desired lifestyle?” If not – you can take a sabbatical like Re, or find another way to quiet the noise and distractions that are standing in your way. Here are the 4 common things that could be standing in the way of your clarity.
  3. Don’t make decisions based on money. We all take on clients or projects because we need the money. And, you have to have some bad experiences so you know what you don’t want to do. But at some point you also have to realize though that not every person with a credit card was meant to be your client. Instead, think and act like a millionaire, even if you’re not… yet.

Best advice:  Be true to yourself and let the rest unfold.

What’s holding as a prisoner to your agency? Comment below and tell me your biggest challenges.

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